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Florida, Famous for Wellington Strawberries and Horses

Updated on May 21, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years experience in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, history, and aerospace education for USAF Civil Air Patrol.

National Horse Show at the Wellington Equestrian Club in 2006.
National Horse Show at the Wellington Equestrian Club in 2006. | Source

Wellington is near West Palm Beach and the Everglades, but has plenty of attractions of its own that excite families who come to visit. Among the things to enjoy are a famous strawberry patch, famous horses, and a famous peanut.

The city supports a growing equestrian community that seems taking over the community. Meanwhile, city leaders have facilitated an expanding medical center, the influx of new small businesses, construction of a new hotel, and even a new college near the hospital and local mall. This would be a great place to work and raise a family!

Rocketing Growth 2010 - 2020

Highways and streets can expect improvements as traffic congestion is a target for elimination in a greener way to facilitate ongoing growth. City trails, canals, and lakes add to a sustainability push and natural conservation as well as tourist attractions.

This is the Wellington Medical Arts District that covers around 2,300,000 million square feet of commercial space. In addition, a new industrial center is going up beside Lake Okeechobee.

The huge Florida Crystals commercial property, 850 acres, is to have an inland port, according to county commissioners, with a cargo distribution center, warehouses, and related businesses, along with well maintained rail lines and highways connecting eastern/southeastern Florida coastal towns.

From Autumn 2010 to Spring 2015, 15,000 to 20,000 jobs were available in and around Wellington, with emerging jobs from:

  • Equestrian businesses,
  • The new medical arts district, and
  • A new inland port planed for the late 2010s.

Sustainable Medical District

The Medical Arts District covers 2,000,000 square feet in a 210-acre campus that features a hospital, and education, office, medical-related, and retail venues. At least 6,000 jobs will be created from 2016 - 2018.

Anchor Of the Medical Arts District

Wellington Medical Regional Medical Center; Forest Hill Boulevard and State Road 7; Wellington FL:
N State Rd 7, Wellington, FL, USA

get directions

East Coast Florida

Wellington FL:
Wellington, FL, USA

get directions

Jupiter FL:
Jupiter, FL, USA

get directions

Fort Lauderdale FL:
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

get directions

Flying Cows and Strawberries

Flying Cow Ranch Strawberry Farm

From its early beginnings as a widespread strawberry farm on 18,000 acres of Florida swampland, Wellington has grown to become the 76th Best Place to Live in America, among the Top 100 chosen by in 2010.

Wellington is also an equestrian community, with as many horses on its roads as automobiles. One of its major businesses is the world's largest horse show each winter, which operates from the end of January to mid-March.

Polo, jumping class, and dressage are important elements of everyday Wellington life.

Flying Cow Ranch Strawberry Farm

Flying Cow Ranch:
Flying Cow Ranch Road, Wellington, FL 33470, USA

get directions

Endangered Cats in Wellington

The Wellington market area supports two large endangered big-cat sanctuaries:

  • Panther Ridge Conservation Center, and
  • Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, an official part of the US Wildlife Refuge System

Both of these sanctuaries help to protect and promote Florida panthers and black panthers, along with other big cats. A rarity even in Southern Florida, the state's namesake cat can be viewed by visitors to the refuges as they learn more about the elusive felines. Before the sanctuaries became popular, the only views most Americans had of the cat came from wildlife "camera-traps" that snapped the panthers as they walked past.

Florida Panther
Florida Panther | Source

Panther Ridge Sanctuary

Panther Ridge, began at home in 1993 and opened in 1999 as a non-profit animal conservation facility caring long-term for endangered big cats. However, small cats and horses are happy here as well.

Founder Judy Berens has rescued all kids of cats and horses from bad situations and placed them in natural habitats. By 2008, she had a 10-acre estate full of two dozen examples of the most endangered species on Earth to date. This includes bobcats, caracals, cheetahs, leopards, jaguars, panthers, ocelots, and servals, along with house cats and horses.

Judy found that one of her recuse big cat was dumped outside a pet shop. Another was rescued from Hurricane Katrina, others from the circus. They are all here, living in peace.

Panther | Source

Panther Ridge Conservation Center

Panther Ridge Sanctuary:
14755 Palm Beach Point Blvd, Wellington, FL 33414, USA

get directions

Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge
Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge
Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge is in the US National Wildlife Refuge System, in SW Florida, twenty miles east of Naples and west of Wellington. It is certainly worth the planning to visit and possibly see the panthers in natural habitats. This is a clearly written book with many high quality photos of big cats in the area.
Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge:
Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Immokalee, FL 34142, USA

get directions

Exciting Wellington Attractions

Palm trees.
Palm trees. | Source

Incorporated in 1995, Wellington grew quickly, drawing new families to the coastal area and international visitors to its horse shows that feature the National Horse Show and Winter Equestrian Festival.

Why does Florida have so many horses and horse activities? The Spanish explorers of the 1500s brought the equines into Florida and the rest of what became Southern USA and the animals proliferated. Herds of descendant wild horses are still found in Texas and the Far West.

Polo activities also attract international attention. Wellington leaders plan for it to become a premier World Class Equestrian Community and the largest in the United States.

Wellington also has a large renovated library, recreation centers, green spaces, parks, and ball fields, hosting the Top Gun Model Aircraft Show annually.

Entertainment and cultural events abound as well at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and Norton Museum of Art. The super-regional The Mall at Wellington Green is a retail hub and target for additional growth alongside a medical center complex.

High Goal Polo 2014 at the International Polo Club
High Goal Polo 2014 at the International Polo Club | Source
Lion Country Safari :
2003 Lion Country Safari Rd, Loxahatchee, FL 33470, USA

get directions

Norton Museum of Art :
1451 S Olive Ave, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, USA

get directions

South Florida Fair:
9067 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33411, USA

get directions

Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club:
11199 Polo Club Rd, Wellington, FL 33414, USA

get directions

Wellington Mall, Wellington FL:
Wellington Green Dr, Wellington, FL 33414, USA

get directions

Pole Museum :
9011 Lake Worth Rd, Lake Worth, FL 33467, USA

get directions

Peanut Island

Peanut Island

Peanut Island FL:
Peanut Island, Palm Beach, FL 33480, USA

get directions

A Historic Park on an Island

This island off Palm Beach was renamed Peanut Island for a failed peanut oil-shipping business here at the end of WWII.

A US Federal Government renovation in 2005 provided Peanut Island Park to the community. The park offers camping, a pier, and a reef, but also still has the nuclear blast shelter built by order of President John F. Kennedy in 1960.

The bomb shelter is operated as a museum and historic site by the Palm Beach Maritime Museum, open to visitors to see the Cold War-era installation. Peanut Island requires water travel from the mainland by boat or water taxi.

The Palm Beach Maritime Museum and the historic John F. Kennedy Bunker on Peanut Island are available for tours by calling (561) 832-7428. Camping is also available.

Peanut Island at Night
Peanut Island at Night | Source

Business and Jobs

Aerospace Business Increases Jobs through 2020

Florida has long enjoyed a Space Coast Image. B/E Aerospace in Wellington is an aircraft cabin interior manufacturer and the leading distributor of aerospace fasteners and consumables globally.

The company's 3rd QTR 2010 financial results surpassed goals and continued to rise into 2015. The company reported revenues of $495 Million in 3rd QTR 2010, an increase of 7.7% over the same period of 2009. This additional $35.2 Million came from consumables, management, and commercial aircraft products. Free cash flow was $62.8 Million.

Many aerospace companies in Florida are private, and several belong to NASA's Commercial Crew.

Economic Growth Since 2008

Sustainability and green projects have enhanced Wellington neighborhoods under ARRA stimulus funding, notably with the Wellington Green Park opening in October 2010. A State Department of Forestry grant allowed reforestation and the boosting of local nurseries and landscapers as well. Wellington is applying stimulus money to creating a renewed treescape of native Florida trees.

Wellington supports its international equestrian community with nearly 60 miles of bike/hike/horse trails already. Expanding the trail system, adding additional equestrian events and businesses, and drawing new professionals in this industry will create a year-round World Class Equestrian Community. Riding stables, horse farms, equestrian shows known the world over, and horse-related children’s activities increase yearly according to city plans.

Most of the 15,000 to 20,000 usually advertised jobs found for Wellington are available in Wellington, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, and Jupiter FL.

Top 10 Hot Jobs

  1. Retail Sales Associates
  2. Elementary School Teachers and Tutors
  3. Registered Nurse (RNs) - particularly in the nursing specialties of Medical Telemetry, Medical Surgical, and Travel Nursing. The ongoing expansion of the Wellington Medical Arts District mentioned above will increase demand even further for nurses and physical and occupational therapists.
  4. Senior and Staff Accountants
  5. Patient Care Techs
  6. Sales Representatives
  7. Account Managers
  8. Speech Therapists
  9. Administrative Assistants
  10. Physical and Occupational Therapist's Assistants

Top Hiring Companies

  1. IBM
  2. West Boca Medical Center
  3. CVS/pharmacy
  4. Good Samaritan Medical Center
  5. Palm Beach County Schools
  6. Robert Half International
  7. AT&T
  8. Ajilon Professional Staffing
  9. Bethesda Healthcare
  10. Boca Raton Hospital
  11. The Breakers
  12. Winn Dixie
  13. Delray Medical Center
  14. Nextera Energy
  15. Marriott
  16. Brookdale Senior Living

Project Industry Growth to 2018

Fastest Growing Industries, with about 3.5 – 6.0% Increase in new numbers between 2008 – 2018, including jobs recouped after the Great Recession of 2008 – 2010.

  1. ISPs, Web Search Portals, and Data Processing Services
  2. Chemical Manufacturing
  3. Administrative and Support Services
  4. Transit and Ground Passenger Transport
  5. Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
  6. Ambulatory Health Care Services
  7. Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods
  8. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
  9. Support Activities for Transportation
  10. Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores

Palm Beach County Employment Projections to 2018

  1. Retail Salespersons
  2. Registered Nurses (RNs)
  3. Customer Service Representatives
  4. Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers
  5. General Office Clerks
  6. Combined Food Prep & Service - staff that both prepare and serve food in dining establishments in fast food, casual dining, etc..
  7. Stock Clerks/Order Fillers
  8. Sales Reps for Wholesale and Manufacturing,
  9. Secretaries, not including Legal, Medical, and Executive
  10. Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and similar Attendants

many of these job titles are already in high demand, as shown in current job listings for the Wellington area.

Higher Education

  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida Culinary Institute
  • Lynn University
  • Northwood University
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Palm Beach Atlantic University
  • Palm Beach Community College

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS


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